Given by Ian Pratt, Vice Chairman of the Kings Theatre Trust, at Ray's funeral 20th September 2011
|“Ray Stead” 1954 to 2011
"A great friend and volunteer of the Kings Theatre. A much missed Technician and Chief Electrician”
It was about 10 years ago, and I do remember a mutual friend, who is here today, mugged him to help rig some lights for a show at the Kings Theatre. Very quickly, Ray got more and more involved, and he lit many shows for lots of theatre companies in this area, many of whom are represented here today.
He was a great guy to work with in a theatre, he was calm and sensible, and he worked so hard to make each show special for the audience and for the cast and the technical team. It was fun with Ray around, with his rich chuckle and sense of enjoyment. I loved working with him on two shows we lit together, and with Liz, “Rent” at the New Theatre Royal and “War of the Worlds” at the Kings. I will always treasure the memories of doing those shows with him
And once he was settled into helping with shows around the area, he became involved in the Trust Company at the Kings, volunteering his time to help put the Kings back on its feet. He cornered the market in followspotting for the pantomime and many other shows, and was also Chief Electrician many times. When the theatre was filled with scaffolding to restore the ceiling, Ray and Liz set up cameras to record what happened, and they did a great high speed version of the scaffolding going up and then coming down in about 2 minutes – great to see
And now we have to say goodbye – but I know that every time I am rigging lights, he’ll be watching, and asking us to have the bars in lower because he’s not 6 foot 6 tall. And I’ll smile. I believe that when we are on this earth, we are there to be part of our community, and to make that community better – that’s what Ray did, I urge us all to do the same in his memory, and I’m going to miss him terribly